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Trump to NFL owners: Fire players who don’t stand for the national anthem

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally for Senate candidate Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

AP

President Trump today called on NFL owners to cut any players who don’t stand for the national anthem, the strongest statement yet from the president about the anthem protests that began last year with Colin Kaepernick and have since grown to include players on several teams.

“We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag,” Trump said to loud applause at a campaign event in Alabama. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now’? He’s fired! He’s fired!”

Trump said an NFL owner who releases a player would instantly gain broad support across America.

“Some owner’s gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag? He’s fired. And that owner . . . they’ll be the most popular person in this country. Because that’s total disrespect of our heritage. That’s total disrespect of everything we stand for,” Trump said.

Trump added that he believes fans should walk out if players don’t stand for the anthem.

“If you see it, even if it’s one player,” Trump said, “Leave the stadium.”